This was my way of using up the blue cheese buttermilk dressing I had made a few days ago. When thinking about what kind of salad I wanted to use it with the stalk of celery in the fridge and the last pear in the fruit bowl inspired this not-quite-Waldorf salad.
Waldorf salad is made with chopped apples, celery, grapes and walnuts, all dressed in a creamy mayonnaise dressing. For some reason, I have always added crumbled blue cheese to the salad, but that is not a classic Waldorf salad. It does, however, complement all of the ingredients in the salad, so I will continue doing it.
I did not have walnuts, as they are my least favourite nut, so I used pecans instead. I bought some red grapes which added colour, but green can also be used. I tossed the last couple of handfuls of mixed baby greens in the dressing and used them as a base for the salad when serving it.
The leftover dressing I was using was buttermilk, crumbled blue cheese, a spoonful of mayonnaise, salt and pepper and chopped fresh chives. Extra crumbled blue cheese added to the salad rounded out this fresh, tasty salad.
1 pear, cored and chopped
1 stalk of celery, cut into 1/4" dice
1- 1 1/2 cups red grapes, halved
Add enough blue cheese dressing to coat the fruit and celery.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
1/2 cup toasted, roughly chopped pecans
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
Mix gently to combine.
To serve, toss a couple of handfuls of mixed baby greens with some of the buttermilk blue cheese dressing and portion onto the plates. Gently mound the pear and pecan salad in the centre.
- This salad is best served soon after it is made, as the pears tend to lose their colour and crispness, even if tossed with a bit of lemon juice beforehand. The nuts also lose the crunchiness that they bring to the salad.
- I peeled my pear, but you can leave the skin on for colour. Red skinned pears would be beautiful if left unpeeled. Any type of pear can be used as long as it is ripe, but still firm.
- As mentioned, Waldorf salad, which inspired this, uses apples, so switch out the pears if you want.
- Red or green grapes can be used. I cut mine in half, but they can be left whole. Raisins can also be used...they are technically grapes! They will bring a chewy element as well as some extra sweetness to the salad. Try golden raisins, dark raisins, sultanas.
- If you have walnuts, use those, however any nut can be used. Hazelnuts would go well with the flavours in the salad.
- Purchased blue cheese dressing can be used.
- I diced the celery small, as I find I prefer it that way, but you can cut larger dice, or slice the stalk for a different shape in your salad.